You’ve probably seen cars covered in those seemingly adorable stick figure decals, you know, the ones that convey hobbies, ages and even locations of families:Image Credit: Screenshot/WTVC News
As it turns out, law enforcement officials and children safety advocates say they could be putting your family in danger.
Children’s Advocacy Center Director Shelley McGraw tells WTVC News it’s a perfect way for criminals to seek out their next victims:
“For folks that are intending to do some type of harm to kids who are actually out there looking, you’d be surprised what they can figure out.”
The Washington County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Department explains to WCYB News there’s essentially no point in covering your vehicle in the stickers:
“What all do you want out there for the public to see? If I’ve got my wife and my children with me, my life’s right there in that vehicle. Why take any steps to put anybody in danger?”
The Search and Rescue — Ohio team even created this image and posted it on their Facebook page, dissecting what each decal means to a criminal:
- A military dad could mean there’s no man at home to protect the family against intruders, they say
- The “Honor Student” sticker gives away where your kid goes to school
- A parking pass reveals where you might live or work
Law enforcement agencies are warning motorists about the dangers of their bumper stickers and says it invites criminals….
Officials also say to avoid monogramming your children’s clothes or backpacks, and to avoid oversharing on social media.
However, not everyone is buying the notion that car stickers are putting your family in danger. Indiana blogger Pete Gilbert says the entire thing is a ploy by police to scare the public:
“I suppose it is hard to disagree with the fact that some police are saying less information is better. It definitely seems fear-based though.”
And over at the blog Hot Moms Club, Joanna Mazewski writes:
The creators of My Family stickers, Monica Liebenow and husband Phil Barham have defended their product after U.S. police issued a safety warning about revealing private information.
Liebenow explained, “‘They are harmless stickers and they are put on cars with a great intention by people who want to express their family pride. I really don’t think that is how any would-be robber is going to figure out their next victim. I’m sure they would have more sophisticated ways of doing that.”
Bottom line: There are always going to be bad guys looking for a way to prey on innocent people. Make sure you’re using common sense and making the best decision for yourself and your family.